Marinated courgettes and aubergine with burrata
When I cooked at the River Café, we used to prepare a wonderful Italian antipasti called zucchini scapece – crisp courgette coins marinated in vinegar, chilli and mint. I’ve added their summer partner, aubergines, whose dense, meaty flavour tastes so good with the sweet courgettes and acidity of wine vinegar and mint to brighten the dish. Burrata cheese, a mozzarella filled with soft curds, is extra rich and creamy and benefits from the acidity of these marinated vegetables. Serve this as a starter or with tomato bruschetta for a light lunch.
These recipes originally appeared in House & Garden magazine, photos courtesy of Andrew Montgomery.
- 2 medium courgettes (about 300g)
- 1 aubergine (about 300g)
- Olive oil for frying
- Small bunch of mint
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 1-2tbsp best quality red wine vinegar (Volpaia, Forum or Unio Cabernet Sauvignon are all excellent)
- Flaked sea salt
- 6 balls of burrata (or use mozzarella)
- Cut into courgettes into 2mm discs and the aubergines into 4mm round slices. Lay these on kitchen towel, with another sheet on top, to dry them slightly.
- Heat a large frying pan and add oil to generously cover the base. Add as many aubergine slices as you can without overlapping them and fry on a medium-high heat for a minute or so before turning the pieces over so they become golden brown on both sides. Remove to a piece of kitchen towel while you cook the rest. Use the same pan, with slightly less oil to cook the courgettes in the same way.
- Put the cooked vegetables into a bowl, tear over the mint and scatter with the chilli, vinegar (start with half and then add more later if necessary) and salt. Gently turn everything with your hands and leave to sit for 10 minutes or all day if required, to allow the flavours to mix with each other.
- Taste and add more vinegar and salt if necessary before arranging on plates with the burrata.